Money can’t buy happiness. We’ve all heard this phrase—and similar idioms, platitudes, and cliches—before. We’ve heard them ad nauseam.
But the thing about platitudes is, well, they’re platitudes for a reason: they’re often true.
While it’s true that money can purchase certain necessary comforts (clothes, food, housing), and these comforts are a key ingredient in one’s recipe for a happy life, money alone will never make you happy. Not long term at least.
Take it from me and my first-hand authoritative experience—my empirical evidence, as it were. At age 31, I earn less money than I did at nineteen, but I’ve never been happier; I’ve also never been a better person than I am right now. My happiness is derived from my experiences, from my relationships, from my health—not from my income.
Minimalism has helped me realize that if I relinquish my need for expendable income, and if I can adjust my lifestyle to revolve around experiences instead of material possessions, then I need far less money to live a happy, fulfilled life. As long as I earn enough money to provide my basic needs—rent, utilities, meals, insurance, savings—then I can find my happiness in other ways.
Related reading: A Minimalist’s Thoughts on Money.